Sunday, 10 January 2010

MY TOP TEN FILMS FROM THE NAUGHTIES


A little bit late, but it's the thought that counts...

10/ SESSION 9
This supremely unsettling gem got under my skin from umpteen different directions, taking us on a terrifying tour of the Danvers State Mental Hospital where a group of men are charged with the task of asbestos removal under strict time constraints. As the hospital's evil past is slowly unravelled, Brad Anderson ramps up tension and suspense en route to a truly chilling finale.

9/ ALMOST FAMOUS
Cameron Crowe's wonderful coming-of-age tale about life on the road and the relationships between musicians, fans and the press. An absolute joy from start to finish and still one of my fave big-screen treats from The London Film Festival.

8/ LOST IN TRANSLATION
For me, this film did not miss a beat, right up to the beautiful ending which kept a private moment private in the same way as Lynch's superb THE STRAIGHT STORY.

7/ IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE
Exquisite, hypnotic and featuring two captivating performances, ITMFL goes far beyond its simple plot to capture period and situation with a delicacy that slowly envelopes the senses. Always gorgeous to look at, and a triumph for all involved.

6/ CONTROL
This one brings back so many memories, and it's good to report that Anton Corbijn's absorbing biopic is a resounding success on every level. At the time, we all recognised just how good Joy Division were, and this heartbreaking look at a life that ended way too soon has brought a new generation of fans to some sublime music.

5/ HIDDEN
Michael Haneke's multi-layered film encroaches on private lives in the most terrifying way. One to admire ,even as it nudges many deep-seated fears.

4/ TALK TO HER
For me, Almodovar hasn't experienced a drop in form for years (and years) so one of his films was always going to end up on this list. I chose TALK TO HER because it came over to me as possibly his most challenging script and laced with some great performances.

3/ THE LIVES OF OTHERS
A remarkable feature debut which focuses on the German Democratic Republic's secret police, and the involvement of a Stasi captain played by the late Ulrich Muhe. Book this with HIDDEN for a most disconcerting double-bill.

2/ UNDER THE SAND
In which Charlotte Rampling slowly falls apart following the disappearance of her husband at a local beach. An astonishing career-best turn from Rampling who inhabits damn near every frame.

1/ MULHOLLAND DRIVE
If a film totally knocks me for six, I tend to wait a long time for my return visit, just in case the film in question fails to cast its spell a second time round. Not so with MULHOLLAND; a dizzying affair that mixes dreams with reality and demand multiple viewings to even attempt to decipher. 4 cinema screenings and several DVD sessions later, and this film still throws up fresh delights.

7 comments:

  1. a little bit surprised there- for some reason I thought you would have dead mens shoes in the list.

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  2. we ve just been discussing this in the house- and most my viewing tends to be of pre digital era film- so I would struggle to come up with 10 films and if I did my list would be not that good.

    I liked rec and pans labarynth from the last decade and of course dead mens shoes and this is england.

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  3. A great list for the past 10 years, Steve. I have TALK TO HER coming up on my Netflix queue (I put it on when Time Magazine had it third on their best of the decade list). Most of these I've seen. Nice to see you have SESSION 9 on this. Great pick of Mulholland Drive. Thanks for this, Steve.

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  4. Great list Steve! We definitely share some favorites and you made me really curious about The Lives of Others. I've read a little bit about the film but I don't think I've seen it on anyone's favorite films of the decade list.

    p.s. I've given you a silly blogger award: http://cinebeats.blogsome.com/2010/01/10/blogger-awards-2/

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  5. Very nice list Steve! I'm pleasant surprised you included SESSION 9. Love this film and its undeniably creepy atmosphere which is maintained throughout. This film really stayed with me for days afterwards and it is definitely one of the best horror films from the past decade. Very underrated too.

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  6. Great list Steve,
    Nice to see that we share some favorites and you remind me that I really need to see SESSION 9, CONTROL, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE and THE LIVES OF OTHERS.

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  7. Cheers, Nigel. Dead Mans Shoes was not far off. Also love This Is England, but Somers Town may just be my fave Shane to date (prob in a minority of one on this). Good calls on Pan's Labyrinth and Rec, too.

    Thanks LeOpard. Hope you find much to admire with Talk To Her. I think Almodovar is one of the best director's currently working.

    Cheers, Kimberley. Many thanks for the blog award. Kind of you. Hope you get to see Lives in the near future. The late Muhe is amazing in this.

    Thanks, JD. S9 always creeps me out. My wife has an unnerving ability to perfectly recreate THAT voice on the tape which doesn't help my state of mind after viewing this film.

    Cheers, Jeremy. I hold you own list in high regard. When you catch ITMFL, try to see 2046 as part of a double-bill.

    Thanks again, eveeyone, for taking time to comment.

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